Andrade was not technically assigned to a brand at the time of his release as he had been off television since October 2020 and was not drafted in the 2020 WWE Draft. He reportedly underwent a minor elective procedure, which he confirmed to be Lasik surgery, in October that kept him out for a month.
He previously stated he was cleared to return in November, but never did return to television.
After his release request, Andrade said he was given the chance to return to NXT, but turned down the opportunity.
“I never proposed going back to NXT. They proposed it to me. But when they noticed that I’m quitting, they asked me if I wanted to spend a year in NXT, then go back to the main roster and I told them that I wanted to make it on the main roster. I don’t think being in NXT is a lesser thing, but I would rather be out of the company than be in NXT because at least out there, I can make more noise. I don’t have anything against NXT or the wrestlers there, but I didn’t want to take a step back," said Andrade during a media conference call (translation via Carlos Toro)
Andrade continued, revealing he spoke with Triple H before he asked for his release request on March 8.
“I spoke with Triple H before I asked for my release. It was over the phone and not in person because I had COVID. Two days before my release, I still talked with Triple H. I told him the truth and that I wanted an opportunity. He told me that they honestly were not aware that he was ready. I don’t know who in the office wouldn’t tell Vince and Triple H that I was ready since November. They didn’t know that I was medically cleared. [Triple H] told me that he didn’t know. He then told me, how about a run on NXT. I told him that I wanted an opportunity on SmackDown or Raw. I didn’t want to be someone who stayed in the back complaining, but complaining among the wrestlers. I don’t want to complain to the wrestlers, but talk to the office and say I want an opportunity. I don’t want to be four or five years doing nothing and just receiving a check. I was asked for maybe a year in NXT, then return to the [main roster] and see how things change. He said he knows how talented I am and how successful I am in NXT and was offered more money. I told him I don’t want to go to NXT. I want an opportunity on SmackDown and Raw. He then told me, ‘How about we let you go and then maybe in three or four years, you can come back?’ We negotiated the best we could but they asked about NXT and I said no. NXT has a lot of talent, but I don’t want to come back," said Andrade.
Andrade was NXT Champion from November 2017 to April 2018 and had arguably the greatest NXT match of all-time against Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
Thanks to Carlos Toro for the translations and Luis Pulido for contributing to the article. If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Carlos, Luis, and Fightful for the transcription.